This is a trip made on 15 March 2012 from Puerto del Carmen to Ye and Volcan de la Corona in the north of Lanzarote and then on to Orzola and a ferry to La Graciosa Island. Car hire was purchased on leisurecars.com, details of the rental can be found on the earlier blog to Timanfaya National Park via Playa Blanca.
Volcan de la Corona is situated in Ye in the north of Lanzarote and the route from Puerto del Carmen starts north on the LZ-2 to Arrecife. Taking the Arrecife ring road (Circunvalacion), look out for a sign to Orzola and North Lanzarote which connects with the LZ-1. At Tahiche take the LZ-10 to Teguise and continue north. It is a very pleasant drive with spectacular scenery. At Haria, take the LZ-201 north to Ye and Volcan de la Corona. There are no signs for the Volcano or the trail up to the Volcano crater but it is clearly visible on the right as you drive through Ye. The trek starts with a light incline through cactus and after 15 minutes there is a stone wall and large palm tree which is the beginning of a steeper climb for a further 15 minutes. At the top is the large crater – there are no fences so be careful as it is a long way down into the crater! The views across northern Lanzarote from the crater and indeed on the way up are breathtaking so take a camera.
Next stop is Graciosa Island or more commonly known as La Graciosa, the smallest inhabited island in the Canary chain and a nature reserve. With only 700 inhabitants, no paved roads and restrictions on future development, Graciosa Island reflects a Canarian lifestyle of decades ago where fishing is the main industry and tourism is yet to take hold.
Travelling from Ye, continue on the LZ-201 east and then turn north on the LZ-204 to Orzola for the ferry to La Graciosa. There are two ferry companies operating from Orzola to Caleta del Sebo in La Graciosa; Lineas Maritimas Romero and Biosfera Express. Both companies charge 20 euros return and the crossing takes approximately 25 minutes. Lineas Maritimas Romero departs Orzola for La Graciosa at 1000, 1100, 1200, 1330, 1600, 1700 and 1800. The return ferry from La Graciosa leaves at 0800, 1000, 1100, 1230, 1500, 1600 and 1700. In the summer (1 July to 31 October) there is an additional ferry from Orzola at 1900 and from La Graciosa at 1800. The Biosfera Express ferry leaves Orzola at 0800, 1030, 1300, 1630 and 1830 with the return from La Graciosa departing Caleta del Sebo at 0700, 0930, 1130, 1530 and 1730.
A great place for lunch is Cafe Meson de la Tierra just off the square after disembarking from the ferry at Caleta del Sebo. Outside tables overlook the picturesque harbour and the food is excellent. Try the Fried Squid Romana for 9 euros – the best Calamari and chips you will ever eat!
The main reason for the visit to La Graciosa was to see the beautiful beach at Playa de las Conchas, 6 km from Caleta del Sebo on the northwest of the island. Travelling to Playa de las Conchas or indeed anywhere on Graciosa Island can be done by hiring a bike or a 4-wheel drive vehicle with driver. As you disembark the ferry there are a couple of bike rental places and to the right a number of old Land Rover’s and other 4WD vehicles ready to hire with a driver. Bike hire was 7 euros for the day from Bike Graciosa Island and the journey across the island on rough roads was made easier with the excellent mountain bike. Bikes are not permitted on the beach at Playa de las Conchas so there are bike racks at the end of the road. The beach itself is spectacular set against the backdrop of Isla de Montana Clara and although the water looks inviting, strong currents makes it unsafe although some were body surfing in the more sheltered areas.
After the ferry back to Orzola, take the LZ-1 around the coast and south to Arrecife connecting the with new Ring Road to join the LZ-2 to Puerto del Carmen.